On Friday evening, Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency officer Andrew Ward clarified in a Facebook post that he went to Outback Steakhouse and was kicked out since he was equipped in a “gun-free zone.” In the post, Ward claimed that a manager walked up to him asking him to put his weapon in his vehicle, but he informed the manager he couldn’t comply as he was in uniform.
According to the post, the supervisor left after confronting him and made a phone call. He at that point returned and told the officer he had to leave since “Outback is a gun free zone.”
Read the post, which has now gone viral:
Well we had a first tonight…. while I was at work tonight (in uniform) I stopped by Outback Steakhouse to eat supper with my wife. I was approached by the manager and asked if I would put my gun in my truck. I let her know that I couldn’t because I was in uniform. She then went and made a call and came back and we were asked to leave because Outback is a gun free zone.
Note: I don’t blame the manager… but this is ridiculous and we will never go back there ever again.
What is this country coming to? A uniformed Law Enforcement Officer who is sworn to protect and serve the public, is refused service because they have a firearm! I am disgusted and have no other words!!!
Outback has contacted us and has apologized for the incident. There was another customer that was “scared for her life” who was seated across from us. This customer also stated that she was afraid because “police are shooting people” and this customer went on to demand to be escorted to her vehicle out of fear of being shot. Again I don’t blame the manager in this situation.
Folks we need to turn our attention to people like this who try and push their agenda on all those around them. When an entire restaurant full of other happy people were completely fine with my presence. As a country we need to stand up for each other as so many who have shared this post have done. I am truly humbled by the support we received.
Outback’s parent company responded to the altercation with the following statement:
“We’ve always allowed uniformed law enforcement officers to carry their side arms inside our restaurants. A manager made a mistake and we have discussed this with her. We have contacted the guest personally and apologized.”
Ward explained on Saturday that he spoke with the manager who confronted him and the restaurant apologized for their mistake. Outback sent Ward and his wife a $100 gift certificate along with an apology.